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Va. DMV Traffic Course Goes Online

June 1, 2000

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ For Virginia motorists, getting a speeding ticket no longer means sitting in a classroom all day Saturday at driving school.

Those looking to keep the violation from affecting their insurance rates can now go online to TrafficSchoolOnline.com and take the traffic safety course at their convenience.

In May, Virginia joined a few other states that accept the Internet course. California, Oregon, Utah and Nevada also use the service.

But Virginia is the only one to accept it statewide, said Sam Crump, president of TrafficSchoolOnline.com.

About 80,000 people each year are cited in Virginia for a variety of traffic offenses and opt for driver improvement clinics.

``It was easier to do and cheaper,″ said Sven Bridstrup, 37, a Leesburg air traffic controller who was ticketed for speeding in March.

Bridstrup chose the $49.95 online course over the traditional one, which can cost up to $75. It took him four hours to finish, half the time a traditional course would take.

A supervised final exam is required to guard against cheating. After completing the course, Virginia users must take the final test at certain Kinko’s copy centers.

``You could take the test on your lunch hour if you wanted,″ Crump said.

Easier, cheaper, more convenient _ what’s not to like?

``The inconvenience of it is part of the punishment,″ Mike Perez, who owns ABC Driving School in Portsmouth, told The Virginian-Pilot. ``It’s a hassle to go on a Saturday, a whole Saturday. It’s a deterrent. They don’t want to have to come back, because it’s not fun.″

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On the Net: www.TrafficSchoolOnline.com

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